What is the Bates Method?

A Pathway to Visual Ease

William H. Bates MDWilliam H. Bates was a maverick eye-ear-nose-throat physician in the early 1900’s. Early in his career he discovered adrenaline and devised an important new surgery for hearing restoration. He went on to specialize in ophthalmology. Over several years he carefully studied the physical and mental principles of eyesight.

Bates dedicated his life to learning why people develop various eyesight problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. His solutions were based on relaxing chronic strain of the visual system. Dr. Bates would first help people regain faith in their eyesight with evidence of their own improved vision. With new confidence they could absorb and use Bates' very creative methods to relearn natural vision habits.

His unique mix of compassion and ingenuity led to countless recoveries of both simple and difficult eye conditions. You can read many case studies in  "Better Eyesight, The Complete Magazines of William H. Bates". Published in 2000, this 700 page compilation made available a huge reservoir of information that had essentially been lost for decades. Many other books have been written by subsequent teachers and other followers of the Bates Method.

The Bates Method is Not Eye Exercises

Dr. William BatesMost of the books and programs available emphasize "eye exercises", which often create more visual strain. However, the approach presented in this website restores much of Bates original emphasis on helping a person to really "get it" - both conceptually and viscerally - about why they don't see clearly, and what habit changes lead to positive changes in their eyesight.

Bates found distinct and accurate memory and imagination to be essential ingredients for the miraculous act of clear vision. His very creative methods help a person reclaim these important aspects of true mental relaxation. As students improve their vision, they often find benefits such as relaxation and a clearer mind to be even more gratifying than the better eyesight.

Why Isn't the Bates Method Better Known?

The Art of SeeingPopularity of the Bates method has surged at various times over the years. For instance it was popular with Air Force pilots in WWII who needed to sustain their 20/10 vision. Aldous Huxley fostered interest when he wrote about his comeback from near-blindness with the help of one of Bates’ original teachers. He authored "The Art of Seeing" to share his views about the Bates method, why it works, and why he felt mainstream medicine was so closed to this approach.

Although William H. Bates himself was an ophthalmologist, most Bates practitioners since his death have acted as "Bates Method Teachers" or today, "Natural Vision Teachers", or "Natural Vision Coaches". The medical mainstream in the USA pushed out many alternative health approaches in the 1950's, and Natural Vision Improvement was on the casualty list. Hundreds of successful Bates Method teachers stopped practicing because optometry boards in many states were bringing legal action against them.

Today's Natural Vision Teachers teach offer principles of reducing visual strain in an educational or coaching venue, and they make it quite clear that people should go to licensed medical practitioners for medical diagnosis and treatment.

You will find a lot of information on the web about the Bates Method. On this website we try to show you the real essence of this powerful approach, that most people miss. Today's society attempts to "add" happiness, success, and health to a stressed-out life. As you look, listen, and watch presentations here on BetterEyesightNow.com, we hope you will start to realize that letting go of stress is 100 times more helpful than cramming eye exercises into your busy life. It's a mental shift that will lead to clearer eyesight and happier, more efficient days. Happy exploring and best wishes for clear vision!

Bates Method F.A.Q

How long will it take to improve my eyesight?

  • Your eyes are ready to see clearly right now, but you need to learn to let go of the habit of staring and straining. You will likely see encouraging glimpses of clarity right away. If your glasses are new or very low prescription it may just take a few days or weeks to stop needing glasses. If your glasses are strong it can take much longer, months or even years for severe cases.

Do I need to purchase any equipment?

  • No, the primary tool is your own mind. You are getting it to relax so your eyes can function again easily and naturally
  • Pinhole glasses can be helpful

What vision conditions can be helped?

  • Please note, this is not a medical approach, and you are responsible to see a licensed practitioner for diagnosis and treatment. These approaches will improve circulation, life force, and faith in your eyes.
  • Good nutrition, exercise, and having fun every day will speed progress.
  • Common conditions: Nearsighted, farsighted, astigmatism, reading glasses.
  • More challenging: Lazy eye, crossed eye (strabismus), conical cornea, etc. Same principles, but practice more time each day. If you get one of our programs, listen often to the visualizations.
  • Eye disease: Cataract, Glaucoma, Detached retina. Same principles, but practice more time each day. Major vision setbacks tend to follow extreme stress or emotional pain, so reversal may also involve releasing old hurts or resentments and jumping back into the game of life. Visualization and relaxation techniques in the program can help you shift these thought patterns. Letting go of stress and emotions with EFT "Tapping" and other techniques can sometimes provide a real breakthrough.

Are there other benefits?

  • Within weeks most people report headaches are gone and have a new sense of ease in their eyes. Other common benefits are clearer thinking, less stress, better digestion, and better sleep. This makes sense because your entire mind must relax to improve your vision.

This is basically eye exercises, right?

  • No. Exercises work great to rehab shoulders and knees, but not eyesight. Eye exercises and “trying to see” tend to cause visual strain and can actually make your vision worse. Bates techniques are fully based in relaxation and ease, so your eyes can effortlessly function at their best. They are essentially yoga for the eyes.

Do I have to throw away my glasses?

  • No. The program gives suggestions for working with your eye doctor to reduce your prescription. You can get quality, stylish, very inexpensive glasses online. Your eye doctor is required to give you a copy of your prescription if you ask. Using reduced glasses lets your eyes relax more.
  • Go without glasses when you can safely and enjoyably do so. You must always be legal for driving, 20/40 or better in most states.

What about contact lenses?

  • For fastest progress use glasses since they are easy to remove any time during the day. If you will be wearing contact lenses, a reduced prescription will be more helpful.

My optometrist said reading glasses are inevitable with aging

  • Eye doctors are skilled and conscientious at what they do, but they may not have interest or knowledge about natural healing approaches. The eyes do indeed physically change with age, however most people who use this program for close vision find they can reduce their dependency on reading glasses right away.

I had Lasik™, can I still benefit?

  • Many people have had success with this program after Lasik™. If you start needing distance glasses again, you can “relax” your vision back to where it was when you got the laser surgery. If you start needing reading glasses the program can also help.

The school says my child needs glasses

  • The best thing you can do is begin improving your own eyesight so you will understand how to help your child.

Can I help my child get out of strong glasses?

  • Yes, but realize that kids with strong glasses tend to be very sensitive and self-conscious.
  • They need fun, encouragement, and lots of sincere compliments rather than advice or the notion they are doing something wrong with their eyes.
  • Follow one of our programs and learn it by improving your own eyesight.
  • The very best way is if you can entice the child to become confident in their own ability to see clearly. Kids can improve eyesight astonishingly fast once they believe and “know” it’s possible.

My eyesight gets blurrier through the day (at computer for instance)

  • This means your strain increases through the day. Some people are opposite and their vision gets clearer through the day. The vision program will help you become aware of when you strain your eyes so you can relax them. For some people visual strain actually increases at night during sleep. You will sleep better without the strain!

What about dry eyes?

  • Dry eyes tend to become immediately moist with the relaxation techniques in our programs. Apparently the tight muscles in the eyes also restrict natural functioning of the tear ducts.

Can this program help with floaters?

  • Floaters are usually debris of old cells that have not yet left the eye, and appear as annoying floating spots in the vision. New floaters should be checked by a doctor to rule out other causes. The natural circulation and replenishment of the eyes will improve when the eyes are relaxed, and some people do notice floaters disappearing as they improve their sight.
  • Good nutrition and supplements can also help.

My eye doctor says it can’t work

  • Remember that some optometrists and even a tiny number of ophthalmologists embrace natural eyesight improvement. Those who believe have seen it work, likely in their own eyes. If you can find a supportive eye doctor, that is best. Otherwise follow the suggestions in the program for working with your eye doctor.